Delizia!

Everyone loves Italian food. But how did the Italians come to eat so well? The advertising industry tells us the answer lies in the vineyards and olive groves of Tuscany – among sun-weathered peasants, and mammas serving pasta under the pergola. Yet this nostalgic fantasy has little to do with the real history of Italian cuisine. For a thousand years, Italys cities have been magnets for everything that makes for great eating: ingredients, talent, money, and power. So Italian food is city food, and telling its story means telling the story of the Italians as a people of city dwellers. In Delizia! the author of the acclaimed Cosa Nostra takes a revelatory historical journey through the flavours of Italys cities. From the bustle of Medieval Milan, to the bombast of Fascist Rome; from the pleasure gardens of Renaissance Ferrara, to the putrid alleyways of nineteenth-century Naples. In rich slices of urban life, Delizia! shows how violence and intrigue, as well as taste and creativity, combined to make the worlds favourite cuisine.

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